M.G. from New York, New York writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We leave in 4 apartments building condo. 3 of the apartments are equally the same with a maintenance of $300.00 per month and one apartment penthouse with maintenance $450.00 per month. The building has an elevator. This year Schindler Elevator Corporation estimated to do some job (add a lock), the job to be done for $6,000. We are supposed to collect this money from all of 4 apartments. My question – do we have to collect the same amount from all 4 apartments of penthouse has to pay more than the 3 others apartments?
Mister Condo replies:
M.G., that is a great question. You will need a quick look at your governing documents for the exact answer as they may specifically address the elevator maintenance. I am guessing they don’t address it other than to list it as a common element, if it is mentioned at all. The cost for the maintenance and repair of the elevator (and any other commonly owned amenity for that matter) should be treated as any other expense. It would appear that you already have a percentage of ownership or similar formula in place for the common fees. That same formula should be sued for the elevator expense. If that is the case, the penthouse unit owner would pay $2000 of the cost and the other unit owners would each pay $1,333.33. That would be fair and equitable and very likely how it is detailed in your documents. All the best!